When the dust settles on Summer 2011, there may be no NFL or NBA on the horizon, but there will be college football.  Our favorite sport isn’t subject to collective bargaining agreements or union decertification.  It just keeps chugging along year after year, rarely changing in any significant way.

Which is what makes this year so bizarre for us Buckeye fans.  For the first time since most of us can remember, we’re entering a season under the dark cloud of controversy.  Our beloved coach of the past decade who delivered us a long-overdue national championship is gone, replaced by another beloved but severely inexperienced assistant.  Our more polarizing yet undeniably gifted quarterback has packed up and shipped out as well, maybe replaced by a longtime backup that few of us trust to pass the salt or maybe a true freshman (yeah, there are other choices, but those are the two most likely).  Throw in the four returning suspended players and this has to be the most uncertainty a Buckeye lineup has had in years.

On top of that, we’re heading into the first season of the New Big Ten, with the powerful newbie Nebraska ready to make its mark and Wisconsin and Michigan State looking to take that next step.  We’ve got divisions that probably aren’t split up correctly and definitely aren’t named correctly.  We’ll have a championship game that our team–the one that’s dominated the conference for the past six years–might not be allowed to play in.

For the first time in 82 years, both Michigan and Ohio State will take the field with new head coaches.  The last time this happened (in 1929, the year legendary Buckeye-Wolverine hybrid Bo Schembechler was born) Ohio State won 7-0.  If you told me that would be this year’s result, I’d be ecstatic.

I can’t help but approach this season with a strange brew of anticipation and dread.  For the first time in a long time, I have no idea what to expect.  How about you?


  1. Gretchen says

    I’m going for the offense and remain hopeful. Fickell has been raised in the ways of the Buckeye Nation, so I have every confidence in him to be successful. In my opinion, Fickell having the background he does will keep the same rhythm as routine but be able to inject a new vitality to the system. He understands OSU football and can keep the backbone in place as we all adjust to the changes. Despite a number of players off the roster for a bit, we still have the structure of a great team. My $.02.

  2. Anticipation is definitely there for me. It might be more out of anxiousness than excitedment. I’m one of those “we will go undefeated every year” kind of fans, but the reality is this year has the potential to be rough.

    It’s going to be hard to be a Buckeye fan this year. We’re going to get it from ALL SIDES. Normally, I’d say “BRING IT” but this year it’s going to be relentless.

  3. I’m usually an Undefeated Every Year kind of guy myself, but this year is like a perfect storm of potential horrors. With Tressel, it became natural to just assume 10 wins. Now he’s gone, our biggest offensive playmakers are either gone or suspended for 5 games and our new coach–as much as I love the guy–is as inexperienced as a person could possibly be in this position.

    That said, I believe Fickell can be a great head coach and I hope he lives up to his incredible potential. I know Braxton Miller will be a great QB, but I don’t know when. I hope right away. I have differing levels of faith the other 3 QBs, but all them rank behind Miller in my mind.

    And that’s exactly what makes me nervous. Believing and hoping that inexperienced players and coaches live up to potential and justify faith is not how I want to enter a season.

    At the same time, I’m excited to see what the new era of Ohio State football brings. I hope it’s a lot like the last era.

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